I promise, we will be back later in the week to run the ear over the flip side of this, a hulking 12 inch twin set from the mighty Ashtoreth, a heavy bruiser which we suggest you enjoy in the safe comfort of daylight. A quick read of the liner notes penned by the author himself describes this brooding colossal thus …. ‘ ….. minimal, meditative ambient drones with layers of meandering guitars and voices mixing elements of doom, drone and ambient experimentation. Rites I & II take a shamanic and animistic approach to our surroundings, unveiling inner and outer visual landscapes, a journey through flesh, sound and spirit’. So armed with that descriptor, this set marks the first in a series of promised releases over the course of the year. At twenty one minutes in duration, ‘Rites I’ is a punishing listening experience, tormented and terrorised this light sucking dark herald scowls and scratches with suffering sorrow, the atmosphere chilled with a deathly disquiet, this is not a fun place to be, yet even when the skewering shadows of soul sucking storm clouds pass at the four minute mark, in its place the quietly haunted serene that descends with fog like foreboding, only serves to ratchet up that sense of edgy isolation and fearful expectancy that shortly from the shadows of eternal night, that your fate will be sealed with a solemn unholy satisfaction. If nothing else, ‘Rites I’ serves as a chilling conduit to the beyond.

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